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The Phillies Bid Feliz Farewell

Pedro Feliz’ home run in Game Four of the World Series will be his last big Phillies hurrah, as yesterday the team declined to pick-up his 2010 contractual option. Instead of paying $5M, the Phillies will pay him a half a million buyout and look in the free agent and trade market for their next hot corner holder.

Feliz will turn 35 in late April and finishes his Phillies career with a little under 1,100 plate appearances, 26 home runs, and a .699 OPS with generally strong defense. His defense has seemingly declined a bit over the last few seasons, but he’s a good bet for (at worst) an average season of UZR and a ~.700 OPS. Dave Cameron pointed out Feliz’ run of consistency here, and Feliz responded by blowing it within the final weeks of the season and dropping his OPS by a dozen points. Go figure.

As a full-time starter he’s probably a slightly below average player, but for the right pay – say, less than five million – he could be a decent addition to a number of teams, even as a bench player.

For the Phillies, Buster Olney amongst others has suggested Adrian Beltre as a potential fit. Beltre makes sense, he’s a rich man’s Feliz: strong defense, ignorance of weak OBP, and some nice pop. Given his (grotesque and fluke) injury mishaps this season, Beltre could come for fewer years and dollars than he’s really worth. As Dave Allen noted here, Beltre’s bat is suited for a non-Safeco park – or just one that doesn’t constrict right-handed power like the almost 31-year-old Beltre would provide.

If such a swap is to occur, then the Phillies would see an immediate upgrade at third base, but would also make the Mariners the biggest supplier of talent to the two-time National League champions.